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Monday, 06 July 2015

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Cockermouth flood defences set for the go-ahead

Cockermouth's much anticipated new flood defences look set to be approved at a meeting next week.

Allerdale councillors will discuss the £4.4m measures, which are recommended for approval by officers, at a meeting on Tuesday.

The defences would involve new earth embankments and flood walls, the raising of existing flood walls, installation of flood gates and the flood-proofing of properties alongside the rivers Derwent and Cocker.

Work is scheduled to start immediately, subject to permission being granted.

The scheme already has the backing of Cockermouth Town Council and other bodies, although the town’s civic trust and the National Trust raised some concern about the impact of the work on historic properties, particularly Wordsworth House.

A report to councillors states: “The proposal seeks to provide a package of flood protection measures to provide protection for a one-in-100-year event.

“This would not provide sufficient protection for an event similar to 2009, which was an event of a much greater magnitude – in excess of a one-in-450-year event.”

The 2009 floods hit 537 properties, and the town has flooded several other times in recent years.

Sue Cashmore, chairman of Cockermouth Flood Action Group, said: “We just want to get these flood defences up and the town back to normal.

“There is a high level of anxiety in the town when it rains.”

The work would be paid for with a £3.3m Government grant, plus £1.1m raised locally through grants.

The flood action group and Cumbria Community Foundation would also make a contribution, as would residents through a council tax levy.

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